Sri Lanka v South Africa, 1st ODI, Colombo

Sri Lanka hold edge against inexperienced South Africa

The Preview by Andrew Fidel Fernando in Colombo

July 19, 2013

Comments: 41 | Text size: A | A

Match facts

Saturday, July 20, 2013
Start time 1430 local (0900 GMT)


JP Duminy plays a shot during a practice session, Colombo, July 19, 2013
JP Duminy is one of only two players in the current South Africa squad to have some experience of playing in Sri Lankan conditions © AFP
Enlarge

Big picture

One of the more interesting statistical quirks that has been uncovered in the lead-up to the first match of the series is that only two members in South Africa's 15-man squad have played an ODI in Sri Lanka before. Robin Peterson played two matches, in 2002 and 2004 but did not bat in either game, while JP Duminy played the entire series in 2004. Neither man has been a part of a victory.

Though most of this squad will have played elsewhere in Asia, Sri Lanka's heat, humidity and pitch conditions are a different enough challenge for South Africa's inexperience to shape up as a major deficiency. More seasoned South African hands have come to Sri Lanka in the past, and had little to show for their time here, losing nine out of ten completed ODIs against the hosts.

On arrival this time, South Africa captain AB de Villiers suggested that perhaps the inexperience was an advantage, as the squad does not collectively bear the psychological burden of previous losses. Given that Sri Lanka, too, are a vastly changed side, he may have a point. Sri Lanka's middle order is now a liability, even in their own conditions, and the bowling attack lacks the penetration that has daunted touring sides in previous years.

The home side are also playing their first two matches under their youngest captain. Dinesh Chandimal has both the talent and intellect to become a fine leader in the future but he has not justified his place in the side over the last two months and is under added pressure to turn his form around. He is in charge of an attack that is without its most dependable seam bowler, as Nuwan Kulasekara has been ruled out of the first two games due to a finger injury.

There are tougher first assignments for a 23-year old captain, but Chandimal will need more than just his characteristic on-field effervescence if South Africa's explosive batting order begins to fire. He does have the experience of the three senior batsmen to fall back on though, and their presence and good form gives Sri Lanka the edge in the first encounter.

Form guide

(most recent first, last five completed matches)
Sri Lanka: LLWWL
South Africa: LTWLW

Players to watch

Aaron Phangiso had a decent outing in the warm-up match, taking two wickets for 39, but, after two mediocre showings, he will be eager to prove he can cut it at the top level and kick-off his international career. The tawny-coloured pitch should be more helpful than the ones he is used to at home and, as South Africa's most naturally attacking spinner, he might do well to quell the nerves early and focus on good flight. Sri Lanka's top six may feature three left-handers, which will make the left-arm spinner's job more difficult.

Shaminda Eranga will want to forget the last over that he bowled in international cricket. Faced with defending 15 runs off the last five balls of the innings, Eranga was flattened by MS Dhoni's phenomenal finishing. The selectors have indicated he is a talent they would like to develop in both ODIs and Tests and, in Kulasekara's absence, Eranga would do well to introduce the consistency that has been missing from his bowling so far.

Pitch and conditions

Despite cloudy skies for much of the week and an unseasonal deluge two days before the match, the ground staff at the R Premadasa have prepared a surface likely to assist spin, with some likely assistance for the new ball bowlers as well. Showers are forecast for late in the evening, but there is a good chance that there will be enough time to get a result, at the very least.

Team news

Tillakaratne Dilshan is said to have fully recovered from the calf tear that prevented him from traveling to the West Indies, while a niggle that Lahiru Thirimanne picked up in the Carribean appears to have healed as well. Upul Tharanga will likely open alongside Dilshan, after his 174 not out against India in that tournament, while Angelo Perera may be in line for a debut. Ajantha Mendis' selection depends on whether Sri Lanka decide they need a second frontline spinner.

Sri Lanka (probable): 1 Upul Tharanga, 2 Tillakaratne Dilshan, 3 Kumar Sangakkara (wk), 4 Mahela Jayawardene, 5 Dinesh Chandimal, 6 Lahiru Thirimanne, 7 Angelo Perera/Thisara Perera, 8 Rangana Herath, 9 Shaminda Eranga, 10 Lasith Malinga, 11 Suranga Lakmal/ Ajantha Mendis.

South Africa continue to wait on Morne Morkel and Lonwabo Tsotsobe, both of whom have a 50% chance of playing, according to AB de Villiers. Morkel felt tightness in his thigh, where he suffered his most recent injury, while Tsotsobe's problematic ankle has flared up again. De Villiers said South Africa would look to play two frontline spinners whenever possible in this series, but they could end up fielding a an inexperienced pace attack on Saturday.

South Africa (probable): 1 Hashim Amla, 2 Alviro Petersen, 3 JP Duminy, 4 AB de Villiers, 5 Faf du Plessis, 6 David Miller, 7 Ryan Mclaren, 8 Robin Peterson, 9 Aaron Phangiso, 10 Chris Morris, 11 Rory Kleinveldt/ Morne Morkel.

Quotes

There are three guys who have captained the country before. I can get a lot of input from the three of them. We have done training well and hopefully in the first two games we will be able to get a good start and move on.
Dinesh Chandimal on having the seniors around in his first match as ODI captain

We can't do any worse here than we have in the past so it's a good opportunity for us to make an improvement and make people proud at home.
AB de Villiers on South Africa's record in Sri Lanka

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here

RSS Feeds: Andrew Fidel Fernando

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Ankitsuperking on (July 20, 2013, 8:35 GMT)

SA have a good record in India, so there is no reason why they should struggle in SL. Both team have a good blend of young and experience player in their team... Thisara Parera is a very good cricketer and should be utilised in better way as he can be really handy in powerplays.....

Posted by Aus2013 on (July 20, 2013, 8:07 GMT)

Itz a pre meditated series..Test for SL against d spearhead SA pace attack...on d contrary real real test for d African's against d spin attack..I reckon that SA will be whitewashed by the SL in ths series...

Posted by android_user on (July 20, 2013, 8:07 GMT)

chandimal was a run machine when sl was in australia in 2011 for the vb series. because he batted at 2nd down. he is not an slogger who come at no 6 or 7 and smack . only way he can suceed in international cricket being at the top. for a change for few matches sl must shuffle the bat order. thirmane become like misba ul haq. he can score but takes too many balls to get started and doesnt learn the art of rotate stike. mahela is best at the top the risky free shots which he plays guess some of the top order bat also stunned. feel sorry for tharanga. though his stats shows good. he wont get continue match. if 3 to 4 failure he will be out. again they bring mahela at the top. dilshan is the one who will never let his place from top. or else rest of players must wait till he get retired. quite simple he earned his top order place. when he started he was like no 6 or 7. thirmane can bat lower if they really want him in the team. he must learn hard hitting than normal blocking the ball.

Posted by kevepere on (July 20, 2013, 7:34 GMT)

No matter what the result is SL have been pathetic playing against India. They cannot erase or forget what India has done to lankans in the past 5 years. Lanka's strength and mystery have been the weak link and the non mystery for the Indians. Anyone can see clearly what happens to Malinga when playing againts india. There is no more mystery with ajantha mendis. I hope SA give a big fight to the over protective young players of SL who highly relies on the big three.

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (July 20, 2013, 6:59 GMT)

Love to see close encounters and thrilling finishes between two good one day sides. All the best to both the teams

Posted by   on (July 20, 2013, 6:22 GMT)

Where is Kusal Perera ? so, he is not good enough after a few failures ? come on Sanath, are u scared that he would outperform u ?

Posted by C0l0mb0 on (July 20, 2013, 5:02 GMT)

i Doubt A perera will get a chance, just coz of the politics plays ahead of talent in SL Team selections. Chandimal should either open the inning or play #3. If Sanga not giving #3 to him or Dilshan not giving #2 to him he should just select the team without him. Same with thirimanne. He need to be an allrounder or stay on the bench. but he will play just coz of VC. My opinion is Sanga, Dili n Mahela should bat down the order giving young guys some opportunity n more balls to face n build some confident. If those 3 bat top all those youngsters getting is jast a free ride to next match. Best team is, 1. Tharanga 2. Chandimal 3. Thirimanne 4. Sanga 5. Mahela 6. Dilshan 7. A Perera 8. Thisara 9. Senanayake/herath (depend on SA batting line up) 10. Malinga 11. Lakmal

Comments have now been closed for this article

TopTop
Email Feedback Print
Share
E-mail
Feedback
Print
Andrew Fidel FernandoClose
Tour Results
Sri Lanka v South Africa at Hambantota - Aug 6, 2013
Sri Lanka won by 6 wickets (with 11 balls remaining)
Sri Lanka v South Africa at Hambantota - Aug 4, 2013
South Africa won by 22 runs
Sri Lanka v South Africa at Colombo (RPS) - Aug 2, 2013
South Africa won by 12 runs
Sri Lanka v South Africa at Colombo (RPS) - Jul 31, 2013
Sri Lanka won by 128 runs
Sri Lanka v South Africa at Pallekele - Jul 28, 2013
Sri Lanka won by 8 wickets (with 36 balls remaining)
More results »
News | Features Last 3 days
News | Features Last 3 days